Saint Mary's College welcomes Robert (Bob) Ladouceur MA '89, the legendary former head coach of De La Salle High School, as speaker for the 2013 graduate and professional studies commencement ceremony.
Bob Ladouceur, Legendary Coach and Mentor
Click here to read Bob Ladouceur's Commencement Address
When Bob Ladouceur stepped down in January 2013 as the head football coach for De La Salle High School in Concord, a Christian Brothers High School for boys, all those who value and recognize the pursuit of excellence took notice.
After 34 years, a 151-game winning streak that’s a national record, 29 high school divisional title wins, 17 state championships and a record of 399 wins and 25 losses, Ladouceur said it was time for his longtime assistant, Justin Alumbaugh, a De La Salle alumnus and member of its English faculty, to take over the reins of one of the most successful high school sports programs in the nation.
Ladouceur will continue to support De La Salle’s athletic program as an assistant coach, working on the development of younger players. He will also continue to teach. Ladouceur is a full-time instructor in religious studies. “I enjoy working with this age group, when these kids are going through the most dramatic changes in their life,” he said. “They’re searching for their identities and figuring out what they want to be. I find it very rewarding to help them and be a part of their lives at this moment.”
Ladouceur said he has a great respect for the the values of a Lasallian education and is looking forward to addressing the graduate students at Saint Mary's. "I hope to encourage the students receiving their graduate degrees, who have worked very hard to achieve their goals, to not only pursue excellence in their professional endeavors as they go forward, but to also use their intellectual gifts to help the less fortunate in society, which is in keeping with the College's mission of service for the common good."
Ladouceur began coaching the Spartans football team at De La Salle in 1979. Under his leadership the football program became a model not only of football excellence but also of an athletic program that is an extension of the Lasallian educational mission. “The goals and mission of this school provide the basis for our success,” he has often said.
The tremendous success of his teams and Ladouceur’s influence is demonstrated not only on the gridiron but also in the classroom. De La Salle’s varsity football team is regularly recognized as a scholastic champion for its high grade-point average.
More than one hundred student-athletes from Spartan football teams in the Ladouceur era have received scholarships to top universities and colleges and more than a dozen have played professionally in the NFL, including notable players such as Maurice Jones-Drew, Derek Landri, Amani Toomer and T.J. Ward.
Ladouceur has received national recognition for his athletic leadership, including being named National High School Coach of the Year by USA Today several times; the National Football League’s first National High School Coach of the Year (1995), induction into the National Federation of State High School Associations Hall of Fame in 2001, and an ESPN “ESPY” nomination for “Coach of the Year” in 2004.
He has also been recognized as a Lasallian Educator of the Year, received a Contra Costa County Educator of the Year award and was honored by the African American Ethnic Hall of Fame in Oakland for his coaching and mentorship. In 2012 he was inducted into the Hall of Fame at San Jose State University, which is also his undergraduate alma mater.
Ladouceur played football for, and received his undergraduate degree in criminal justice from, San Jose State University, and he earned a Master of Arts degree in Health, Physical Education and Recreation from Saint Mary’s College. He is a father and grandfather.